closed loop customer feedback

Customer Feedback Unplugged: The key to operationalizing closed-loop customer feedback at scale

Many companies launch voice of the customer (VOC) programs to demonstrate that they’re listening, but fall short when it comes to closing the loop. They fail to follow up and take action on customer feedback—so they fail to realize significant business impact from their VOC programs.


I recently conducted a video interview with CX expert Annette Franz, CEO of CX Journey, as part of NICE’s Customer Feedback Unplugged video series. We discussed best practices for operationalizing closed-loop customer feedback at scale, and Annette shared an example of a company she worked with that saw impressive retention and revenue gains by following those best practices.

Saving customers and revenue by closing the loop at scale

Let’s start with the closed-loop success story, which Annette notes is one of her favorites because of the impressive business gains the company achieved by taking action on customer feedback.

Annette worked with a client in the insurance industry that understandably had a lot of at-risk customers. Recent research finds that 17% of consumers will churn when their policy premiums increase or discounts end, and 37% will leave after a bad experience with insurance products or services. 1

With her expert guidance, the company designed their VOC program to support immediate service recovery, incorporating an immediate feedback loop into their customer feedback process.

The company strategically approached customer retention efforts by including diligent follow-ups with the dissatisfied customers, whom they identified through feedback. That was key, given the significant impact negative experiences have on customer churn rates, as noted above.

The result was a very effective retention program: the insurer ended up saving 63% of their at-risk customers, as well as $11 million dollars—revenue that they brought back into the business by saving those at-risk customers.

How could you achieve similar results?

Picture this: a customer visits your app to look up their policy number and becomes frustrated when they can’t find it. When presented with a feedback survey, they leave a low customer satisfaction (CSAT) rating and a negative comment about app navigation.

Seeing this negative feedback in real time, an agent reaches out to help the customer, and also reminds them about their upcoming policy renewal. Feeling heard, valued and impressed by the agent’s proactive service, the customer is saved.

Research finds that through actions like these, insurance firm contact centers with VOC programs achieve a 5.5x greater increase in customer lifetime value. 2 Learn more about why and how financial services organizations can create an effective closed-loop process.

Effective VOC program design for taking action on customer feedback at scale

Creating an effective VOC program starts with designing your program so that your whole organization can take meaningful action on the customer feedback you gather, at scale.

Here are the 3 most important factors to ensure that acting on customer feedback can happen at scale:

1. A clear vision and goals

Start with the end in mind. You need to establish clear goals for what your VOC program is there to accomplish. Without a shared vision and commitment to the goals from the top down, you won’t get the resources, budget, or on-going focus needed to run an effective program.

leadership commitment

2. A customer-centric culture

Creating a culture that brings the customers’ voice into everything you do is critical to scaling any type of feedback program—and delivers significant business benefits. True customer-centricity requires commitment and alignment that going forward, decisions will be feedback-driven and improvements will be prioritized based on feedback.

customer centric culture

3. The right VOC technology

Finally, the right technology allows you to scale by automating and streamlining the entire process through powerful analytics, triggered alerts and effective communications so agents can respond to customers quickly and appropriately.

voc technology

How technology can improve both agent and customer experiences

When it's set up correctly, the right VOC solution can drive both a great agent experience and a great customer experience (that’s delivered by the agent). Aberdeen Strategy & Research also found that insurance firm contact centers with VOC programs enjoy a 6.3x greater YoY increase in employee engagement rate.

That’s because VOC allows you to bring together the feedback that you've gotten from your customers, the agent’s feedback about an interaction, as well as the data that you have about your customers in your contact center software.

This holistic approach to VOC provides a more robust understanding of who the customer is, what they’re thinking and feeling, and how you can appropriately react to their needs and expectations. It empowers your contact center team and organization as a whole to make data-driven decisions and take data-driven actions that improve CX and EX.

Automated triggers empower agents to take action

Triggered alerts allow agents to quickly understand who the customer is and what their past and current interactions have been, so that agents can adapt their approach and tailor an interaction to the customer's specific needs.

As this video demonstrates, CXone Feedback Management provides real-time automated triggers in the CXone Agent desktop that guide supervisors and agents to swiftly close the loop with at-risk customers—creating a service recovery process that delights and retains more customers.

Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty with a closed-loop process

While many organizations listen to their customers, your organization can create a competitive advantage by proactively following up on customer feedback. As Annette notes in the video:

“Nobody expects a response, much less an immediate response. So I think when we do that, when we respond immediately, we have just surprised and hopefully delighted our customers, but certainly surprised them…very few companies actually do that.”

When you take action on that immediate response, you’ve got a few things going for you that create a positive impact on CSAT and loyalty:

  1. Improve retention at critical points: When you put service recovery tactics into place to make sure that the customer is taken care of immediately, it has a positive impact on preventing churn—which increases lifetime value (LTV).
  2. Enterprise-wide business impact: When you use insights from customer feedback to inform and improve bigger strategic initiatives, such as digital transformation, it demonstrates to customers that you truly value their input.
  3. Create a two-way dialogue: A VOC program is supposed to be a conversation that makes customers feel valued. Your immediate response creates that valuable two-way conversation between customers and your brand.

This is what we try to help our customers operationalize and achieve with CXone Feedback Management. We designed it to enhance customer interactions, aligning perfectly with the concept of immediate response and service recovery, and ultimately, closing the loop with each customer.

Expectations - performance = satisfaction and loyalty

As the above success story highlights, when you design an effective closed-loop process that empowers your team to follow up with customers at scale, you can maximize the math on critical customer KPIs. Or, as Annette notes in the video: “Expectations minus performance equals satisfaction and loyalty.”

You can differentiate your organization and exceed customer expectations by taking immediate action on customer feedback, at scale, to start building the bridge to stronger CSAT, loyalty, and LTV.

See more examples of how companies across several industries are benefitting from closed-loop best practices.

[1] PwC: Customer Loyalty Survey (2022)
[2] Aberdeen Strategy & Research: The ROI of VOC in Insurance: Loyal Customers, Engaged Employees, Increases Profits (2022)